WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP
Most of America is bringing in 2018 with an arctic blast. I cannot tell you the last time it was this cold in New Orleans but I’m just happy to actually have a true winter.
It was 25 degrees in New Orleans when I returned home after the holidays but it felt like 13 degrees. I had a different dish in mind to prepare for Hunger Trap this week but as soon as I got back all I could think about was SOUP.
With the cold weather that’s sweeping the nation, I can guess that a lot of you feel the same way I do right now. You probably do not feel like going anywhere. You do not feel like cooking. And If you do cook, it better be something hot and fast that will warm you up. Am I right?
So instead of my original plan I went to the store and got the basics for a great vegetable soup: onions, celery and carrots. I also remembered that turnips and kale are in season so I grab a couple of each. Now, I know a lot of people don’t eat turnips at all let alone in their soup but enjoy potatoes year round. What you don’t know is, turnips actually have a potato texture and sweeter flavor without all the starch. They are great in soups or as a side dish and can be be simply cooked with a little butter and herbs.
As I pulled together the ingredients I thought, “this vegetable soup needed one more thing to make it filling since I was not using potatoes”. Pasta! That’s right pasta in soup; it is filling and absorbs all the wonderful flavors of the broth like a sponge. I recommend you use a small pasta like orzo, small shells, macaroni or my new find radaitore (they look like a car radiator).
Smaller pasta can fit with the other ingredients on your spoon. That’ll allow you to enjoy everything in one bite.
This soup is vegan-friendly not by design but because I wanted a true vegetable soup without any meat in it. However, if you insist on adding meat I recommend adding mini meatballs, chicken or sausage to the soup. It’s your soup so remix it how you like it. I hope as the winter months continue you make this your go-to soup.
P.S. Do not forget the crackers.
Winter Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 shallot chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 3 carrots peeled, halved, chopped
- 1 bunch kale washed, stemmed, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup red wine
- 3 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ pound pasta orzo, macaroni, small shells
- ½ bunch parsley chopped
- saltine crackers optional
- crusty bread optional
- In a pot over medium heat, add oil, onions, shallots, celery, carrots and kale cook for 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaves cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste, wine, stock salt, and peppers. Bring to a boil and let cook for 10 minutes, covered.
- Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes. Adjust seasonings, divide into bowls and garnish with parsley, serve crackers or crusty bread on the side.